Bowls: Young Scots lose crown on home soil

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Scotland’s Under-25 bowlers failed to make home advantage count as the defending champions finished second to Wales in the British Isles Junior International series played at Uddingston, Lanarkshire.

Wins over England (126-114) and Ireland (149-108) did put some shine on the Scotland performance in a very competitive arena but last year’s champions were put at an immediate disadvantage when losing the opening match to Wales.

Wales held Scotland to a two-shot deficit over the first seven-end phase and the rest of the match was fought out on a tightrope. The major scoreboard reflected the battle for supremacy that was being fought out with an 88-88 peel after 14 ends screaming danger to Scotland and having edged the second phase 37-35, Wales edged the third 40-36 to clinch a four-shot victory, 118-114.

Scotland finished ahead on four of the six rinks but the result was a major disappointment for 23-year-old team captain Calum Logan of Kirkliston who, with Newbattle stars Scott Runciman and Calum Crawford in his rink, lost 26-15.

The margin proved to be a costly one in conjunction with the 22-16 setback suffered by the rink skipped by Graeme Sloan but the 9-0 collapse of Kevin Anderson (won 21-17) over the final four ends didn’t help the home cause.

Meanwhile, Ireland were 
doing Scotland and Wales a favour by inflicting a surprise 120-102 defeat on England.

The second session of matches saw Scotland beat England 126-114, despite suffering a 
46-21 setback on the first seven-end phase.

But Scotland roared back to capture the second phase 
52-32, before dominating the third phase 49-36 to beat the Auld Enemy by 12 shots.

Logan skipped his rink to a 22-15 win and support from an unchanged team came in the shape of a 26-16 success for Mark Kelsey and a 23-19 win for Graeme Sloan. Wales enjoyed a comfortable 131-104 win over Ireland.

The final session pitched Scotland against Ireland and the home team duly delivered a 41-shot victory but any hopes of making a successful defence of the title vanished with Wales beating England 127-119.

Changes to the Scotland team saw Jamie Blair of Haddington recalled to play lead to Logan (won 25-18) while Andrew Semple of Oakbank was given his debut at second to David Miller (won 21-14).

Neil Watson of Parkside went through the series undefeated playing lead to Kevin Anderson as did David Sked of Gifford playing third to Mark Kelsey. Grant Thomson of East Linton played two games with David Miller and one with Kevin 
Wallace.